Scenes from the building's construction , Source: PERI 3D Construction on Facebook

Europe’s largest 3D-printed building will take only 140 hours to create

Europe’s largest 3D-printed building will take only 140 hours to create

Throughout the majority of construction, the project called for only two people to be present on site – those supervising the printer

Currently, Europe’s largest 3D-printed building is under construction in the German city of Heidelberg. The project will take around 140 working hours to finish and uses only around two construction workers at almost all times.

The finished project, which will house a data centre, is being constructed with 100% recyclable concrete. According to the concrete manufacturer Heidelberg Materials, their material has a 55% lower CO2 footprint compared to conventional concrete.

3D buildings on the rise

According to the developer, PERI 3D Construction, the new data centre in Heidelberg will become Europe’s largest 3D printed structure. The finished project will be 54 metres long, eleven metres wide and nine metres high.

Construction started in March and is set to finish in July. Moreover, the total build time of the project will take only 140 working hours. However, the technology does not allow for printing everything in a single go, as workers have to stop and let the layers set, while they install cabling, pipes and windows.

At the same time, during the majority of the construction process, the Heidelberg project required only two people to be present on-site, to make sure everything is printing correctly.

The future has layer lines

3D printing buildings with concrete is one of the biggest innovations in construction currently taking shape. It offers several benefits, including less manual labour. It is also less material intensive – according to Heidelberg Materials the data-centre project will use around 70% of materials compared to similar-sized regular developments.

Additionally, the unique way a 3D printer functions could serve as a creative conduit for architects. Instead of pouring concrete on flat surfaces and connecting walls at 90° angles, a 3D printer works in layers, placed from above. This means that it can swerve and curl to create unique shapes.

The only distinct feature present on walls is the layer lines, which can be visible or covered up with additional material. However, the jury is still out on whether 3D printing for construction will take over the sector. One of the first projects of this kind was executed in Austria in 2021.



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